The 9-2 Pittsburgh Steelers will travel to Cincinnati to take on the 5-6 Bengals in this week’s Monday night matchup. Both teams are coming off wins and have been playing well. The Bengals started the season 0-3 but have gone 5-3 since including their 30-16 victory over the Browns last week. Pittsburgh has now won 6 in a row after their 31-28 defeat of the Green Bay Packers at home. This is an important AFC North contest as the Steelers currently sit atop the division with the Bengals ranking third. These two teams met in week with 7 with the Steelers earning the 29-14 home victory.
Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown lead the league in both rush and receiving yards and each had huge games against Packers. Bell had 183 total yards with 85 coming on 20 carries and another 88 coming on 12 receptions. Brown had 10 catches for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ben Roethlisberger had a nice game finishing with a passer rating of 109. He completed 33 of 45 passes for 351 yards, 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Defensively, they were not able to force any turnovers but did sack Brett Hundley 4 times. They struggled with the long ball as Green Bay completed passes that gained at least 25 yards to 4 different receivers. The Steelers defense has been good all year ranking sixth in league by allowing 96 rushing yards and are ranked fourth in points allowed with 17.5.
Cincinnati ‘s offense scored 30 points against the Browns, which is their second most points scored all year. Andy Dalton Completed 18 of 28 passes for 214 yards, 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. His favorite target was A.J. Green who had 5 catches for 66 yards. They did a good job running the ball gaining 152 yards with Joe Mixon leading the team with 114 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. Defensively, they struggled against the run as Cleveland gained 169 yards on 31 carries, which is an average of 5.5 yards per rush. They did not force a turnover but did sack DeShone Kizer 3 times. For the season, their defense has been good against the pass as they rank fifth in the league in pass defense allowing just 204 yards per game. They also rank tenth in points allowed with 19.5 allowed. Defending the run is a different story as the Bengals rank 28th by allowing their opponents to average 126.6 rushing yards per game.
The Bengals will have home field advantage for this game and will be 4.5-point underdogs. They have gone 6-5 against the spread this season including 2-3 at home. The Steelers have gone 6-5 against the spread including 3-3 on the road. The Bengals currently sit 1 game behind the Buffalo Bills for the final spot in the AFC playoff field. If they wish to pull off the upset, they will need to find a way to slow down Brown and Bell.
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